You can vote for TU Delft’s candidate for Science Talent 2017

The French assistant professor Dr. Anna Louise Smith is the TU Delft candidate in the Dutch New Scientist Science Talent Competition 2017. Voting closes on June 5th.

Her mission is to make nuclear energy more sustainable. The next generation nuclear reactors that she works on should be safer, more reliable and more sustainable than the current Light Water Reactors.Starting around 2030 these fourth generation reactors should complement wind and solar energy for a fossil-free energy mix.

Reduce the burden

“We will be faced with a huge energy challenge in the coming years”, said Dr. Smith, “and this research has the potential to reduce the burden for the future generations.”

Smith grew up in Limoges, France with a French mother and an English father. She studied chemistry at Chimie ParisTech and earned her PhD in Cambridge, focussing on the safety assessment of the chemical interaction between ceramic nuclear fuel and sodium coolant in sodium cooled fast reactors.

Really challenging

“Uranium and transuranium elements are the most difficult elements to work with in the periodic table, which makes my field really challenging,” she said.

The position for an Assistant Professor in the department of Radiation Science and Technology (Faculty of Applied Sciences) in Delft fitted her like a glove, as a solid-state chemistry for nuclear applications aimed at the development of the next generation of nuclear reactors.

Much less long-lived radioactive waste

“In Delft we are actively working on the development of the Molten Salt Reactor, one of the next generation nuclear reactors. This design is highly innovative, safer, and produces much less long-lived radioactive waste. It is based on a liquid fuel which is a molten fluoride salt, and can run on a thorium fuel cycle (thorium is four times more abundant than uranium on earth). There is a lot of chemical research involved in this design. In case of an accident, most radioactive components, including fission products, will remain in solution and thus very little will escape into the environment,’ Dr. Smith said.

Why vote for Anna Louisa Smith

When asked why people should vote for her, she says that she trusts that the other candidates are doing very relevant work as well, but that energy remains one of the major challenges of our century.

For more information about the candidates for the New Scientist Wetenschapstalent 2017 competition, or to vote visit the website. Voting closes on June 6, next Monday.

Application form Anna Louise Smith

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